Back Dustin against the big Duffer
This week, the best golfers in the world will all assemble at Royal Lytham St.Anne's for the Open Championship. For the punters, it could prove to be a very tough event. There is no proper course form to guide us and links courses can stifle the very best golfers.
So, when looking who to back, we mainly need to look at the players current form and their liking for links courses. Keegan Bradley (100/1) is a Major winner, he has been in average form this season and he came over to the Irish Open to experience a links event but he failed to make the cut. It is a world class field but some players will struggle and we need to also look at driving accuracy. The weather could also play a major part in the event, the UK is yet to have a summer.
Tiger Woods (9/1) has come out and said the rough is unplayable, so tee to greens and tee to fairways need to be accurate. The very nature of links golf means that balls need to be kept low.
Francesco Molinari (40/1) is rated second on the tour for hitting greens in regulation this season and his driving accuracy is one of the best on the Tour. He is proven at links level and he is in cracking form after a slow start to the season, he lost in a play-off last week at the Scottish Open. He has won the Open de Espana this year and there is no reason why he cannot win the event.
There is a match bet that is of interest, a 1st round mythical 2 ball. Dustin Johnson is even money to beat Dufner! The big Duffer is one of the most in-form players in the world but he has no form over links courses. He has had little practice and he has failed to make the cut in his last two British Opens.
Dustin Johnson is 50/1 to win the event and 12/1 to finish top American. He was second at this event last year and inside the top twenty the previous year. Even money looks far too big and he should shoot a far lower overall score than his talented fellow American.
Jamie Donaldson looks a massive each-way price at 125/1, by winning the Irish Open, he has finally got a monkey off his back. He was yet to win on the European Tour but he has put in some sublime performances over recent years. He has won a links event this season against a very competitive field and his driving accuracy is superb. Being from Wales, difficult conditions will not affect his game. The in-form Welshman is far too big at a three figure price!
With the rough being so thick, it is important that the players can scramble and other than Donald (20/1), there are few better at that skill than Louis Oosthuizen (45/1). He knows how to win the competition, he was the surprise title holder two years ago. He hit a seventy-two in his final round at the Scottish Open but with the rough so thick, he will need to justify why statistically he is ranked the best at scrambling on the European Tour.
Finally, Tiger (9/1) will have his backers but at the single figure price of 9/1, that is not for me. He has shown glimpses that he is back to his best when winning events on the PGA Tour but it would be no surprise to see him struggle and I would avoid him at that price.